Warner Bros had a new movie coming out. It was called Batman Vs Superman. Kind of a big deal for them, and in the spirit of the moment, they wanted to create a big deal marketing this summer blockbuster. In an attempt to help revolutionize the film's marketing and explore some future-tech possibilities, I was commissioned to do some creative research and design revolving around the Lex OS marketing campaign.
This assignment was rather broad but exciting none-the-less. Take an amazing IP and fuse it with a background story rooted in cutting edge technology. The Lex OS was already an established narrative device in the film but what it did and why it should exist was very much up for grabs. My approach in collaboration with the team at WB was to build out some ideas around the OS and an online companion experience that might help build curiosity around the film's mythos.
I developed a style and narrative backstory for an OS that takes the best parts of geek culture and wraps it around a tech-centric, cinematic interface. In this case, familiar UI tropes are used with slight modifications in how a user might navigate around the OS. I've taken the attention away from the task bars and given it to quick-access menus. In addition, common online media sources, feeds, and social networks are fused into a simple OS listing devices for access at a glance.
Beyond a desktop experience, the OS needed a way to operate that was both conceptual yet understandable. The design nerds reading this will recognize the radial menu, but most of the rest of the world ogles over it when used for film UI. In this case, making it legitimate was the real trick. Taking the right-click menu and making it radial is one thing. Re-designing the right-click menu UX and giving it a contextually relevant reason for existing in this way, is a whole different challenge.
Typical options are shown yet they are all prime navigation and rooted into the global feed of the system. In this case, even e-mail, connected systems, and screen specific tools are accessible. It's not just right-clicking on an icon. This is taking into account the previous activities you were just doing as well as related activities surrounding your current task and tertiary networked information.
To round it all out, those hexagons were created for a reason that needed some explanation. A backstory surrounding the need for this OS was rooted in security and those hexagons represented just that. In the film, Lex Luthor loves that glowing green rock that hurts Superman, but in the world of an operating system, green rocks don't do much. To give everyone a little glowing green rock I developed a social encryption method rooted in connected devices within the OS's ecosystem. Imagine an OS where each user and that user's CPU power are used to help make the entire OS ecosystem more secure. A distributed security architecture for a network of machines that thrive on our connected ecosystem.
Now for every user who uses Lex OS, they must be online. But that didn’t sound too far fetched given how we live today. When they sign-on, their CPU generates encryption keys for other machines on the network and shares keys to every other user who is currently using Lex OS. The more people who use Lex OS, the more secure it becomes. This concept inevitably might lead to a master switch which could take over all connected machines if one man decided he wanted to... Looking at you Lex…